Five area residents were among those recognized during the sixth annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors held recently in Oklahoma City.

More than 700 tribal leaders, family members and guests attended the event.

The AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors is the largest event of its kind and recognizes the contribution of elders to their tribes, communities, family and state, AARP Oklahoma State President Marjorie Lyons said in a statement.

Among those honored:

TONY BOOTH, Fairland, a member of the Shawnee tribe, who has offered his insight and experience as a business owner and tribal consultant. He also has served on multiple community and veteran’s organizations and administrations and has served 58 years in the healthcare industry.

CHARLENE LEADING FOX BUTTON, Baxter Springs, Kansas, of the Quapaw and Pawnee tribes, who has been instrumental in keeping tribal culture alive. She currently serves on the cultural committee, dances at many pow-wows and also serves on the housing and enrollment committees. 

She also serves on the Home Health and Hospice Board of Mercy Hospital Joplin and has been an active member of First Christian Church in Baxter Springs since 1940.

JOHN FROMAN, Miami, Oklahoma, of the Peoria tribe, was elected chief in 2001. Under his leadership, the tribe expanded its business operations and provided hundreds of jobs to local residents. Environmental projects also started under Froman that have benefited the community, including a wetland program that will reduce the flow of heavy metals into Grand Lake. He was a member of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission and the Native American Cultural & Educational Authority and is vice president of the Miami Area Economic Development Service Board.

RAMONA ROSIERE, of Seneca, Missouri, a member of the Modoc tribe, is a tribal leader whose work with other leaders has enabled the tribe to grow in membership and economic viability. She has served as secretary/treasurer for the tribe since its federal recognition in 1978. 

NEAL WATSON, of Quapaw, a member of the Miami tribe, has served on tribe’s Business Development Authority and regularly participates in tribal activities. He also has been the mayor of Quapaw for more than  a decade. He was recognized for his leadership following the tornado in April and for reaching out to area tribes for financial support to purchase an ambulance for the Quapaw Ambulance Service. He also is working to ensure that the volunteer fire department and emergency sites are restored for the city.